“By 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms on a daily basis.”
That was a Gartner prediction from 2019. The technology research firm hypothesized that given the increase of millennials in the workforce, this type of digital connectivity would grow, too.
More recent analyses show that Gartner was on to something. In fact, Drift’s 2020 State of Conversational Marketing report revealed that the use of chatbots for business communication increased by 92% between 2019 and 2020.
This AI-powered technology has steadily gained traction since its inception many decades ago. ELIZA, invented by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the mid-1960s, is considered the earliest form of chatbots, a technology that has now become widespread. The main reason for its popularity is that today it’s a critical business tool — one organizations simply can’t overlook. What’s more—chatbots have become pivotal across all types of industries, from finance and marketing to travel and tourism.
In that light, it’s safe to say that, in 2022, chatbot technology will explode.
Chatbots offer a huge number of key benefits for consumers and businesses alike. For one, they save time on both ends — rather than using human staff to respond to queries, businesses can leverage technology instead. Meanwhile, consumers can have their questions answered and problems resolved in record time.
Moreover, this approach to customer service is often far more effective than when humans are involved. Chatbots learn and grow from repetition and experience, meaning they can provide a streamlined service that often surpasses that of human customer representatives. Therefore, there is more value in using chatbots.
Plus, it’s often more cost-effective. You need to pay human representatives, after all, while chatbots are an investment that keeps on giving.
You could very well see greater brand engagement, too. Without this critical tool, you may not have the time to respond to each and every consumer. But with them, customers feel like they’re actually interacting with your business.
Finally, you will have access to a huge amount of data thanks to chatbots. You will have a record of interactions with clients and be able to assess common problems, frequent questions, lags in service, and much more.
6 Predictions for Chatbots
1. They Will Handle Payments and Finance
Today, chatbots are widely seen as a customer service and engagement tool. But in the future, they will go a step further. We will see businesses extend the use of these platforms to incorporate additional tasks and responsibilities, such as handling payments.
We already see this to some extent, but the idea of chatbots accepting payments will become more ubiquitous in the near future. Transactions will occur seamlessly, all within the messaging platform.
2. No-Code Could Be the Most Accessible Route for Businesses
No-code and low-code platforms are steadily gaining traction. They save businesses time and money, enabling people with minimal programming expertise to handle seemingly complex projects.
As chatbots increase in terms of sheer volume, businesses will be seeking out ways to build the platforms quickly and easily. The answer is using this type of solution.
3. Humanity Is the Name of the Game
Nobody wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot. So, as chatbot technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, businesses are looking to give them a more “human” touch. They will be able to learn from exchanges with customers, thus allowing them to become more accustomed to the nuances of language and therefore be better equipped to respond intelligently.
Moreover, they will have the skills to converse in a way that sounds and feels more natural. Not only will they have the ability to respond and keep up with the flow of conversation, but they will be capable of customizing experiences accordingly.
4. Chatbots Are the Ticket to Business Growth
By 2027, global chatbot market revenue is expected to grow to 454.8 million USD. That’s up from just 40.9 million USD in 2018.
Clearly, businesses are taking note of this technology. They are recognizing that it’s not a passing trend — it’s something that can help usher companies into phases beyond what they could have possibly anticipated. From improving customer service to driving lead generation to fueling marketing efforts, the tool is playing a key role in improving brand awareness and growing businesses.
5. They Will Be Used Internally and Externally
Chatbots have been used externally to provide customer service for several years at this point. But fewer companies are using them as a tool for internal communication. Soon, that’s likely to change.
As the prevalence of chatbots grows, businesses will extend the applications of the technology. Not only will they apply it to external usage, but they will also resolve internal requests and problems with chatbots. Your IT department can leverage them to address common pain points, freeing up time for these professionals to deal with more complex issues.
6. Voice Bots Will Become Increasingly Popular
A report by Juniper Research predicts that people will communicate with voice assistance technology on more than 3.4 billion devices by 2024.
That’s probably no surprise — voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are a fixture in many households. But did you know the technology is actually a form of chatbot? And in the coming years, voice technology will skyrocket as a means of resolving and responding to customer queries. Voice bots, as these tools are called, could even overtake the more traditional text-based chatbot as a more popular form.
It’s clear by now that chatbots are an innovation beyond what we could have expected. Across industries, they will become an increasingly important tool for interacting with customers, one that will save time and money, as well as bring other, unforeseen benefits. As consumer demands escalate, chatbots will grow in sophistication, offering an abundance of new advantages to businesses and users alike.